No eggs for at least 3 weeks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dana0710, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. dana0710

    dana0710 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm perplexed. I have 2 australorp hens who have always been excellent layers. They are about 2.5 years old. They went through their molt and I haven't gotten one egg from either of them in 2 months (I have another australorp who is an internal layer). I have 4 cream legbar pullets who are about 6 months old. Some of them have gone through a light molt, but we haven't gotten one egg from them in at least 3 weeks. I know production is slowing right now, but should it completely quit? They have been wormed and all seem perfectly healthy. They are a little angry at me for getting less free range time, but should I be concerned that I have gone this long without even one egg?

    Thanks in advance for your experience and expertise. This is the first time I have experienced this.[​IMG]
     
  2. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper Premium Member

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    Its the timing of molt and shorter days most likely. Mine usually molt starting in October or so and won't pick up laying again until January.

    What are you feeding? Could be a feed issue.
     
  3. dana0710

    dana0710 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am feeding dumor layer pellets with free choice oyster shell and grit. Treats are BOSS and mealworms mostly. During molt they were naturewise feather fixer. I expected things to slow, just not come to a complete halt?[​IMG]
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Layer feed is for actively laying birds only. It's too low in protein for the birds that are still in the process of molting, even if it's just a light molt. And the birds that are still maturing need more protein as well. Starting pullets on layer feed too soon can actually slow down their development and make them take longer to start laying. Pullets that mature in the fall also take longer to start laying. This time of year, don't expect eggs from your birds that are over 1 year old. Molting takes a lot out of them, and they need to get back to their laying weight. They won't likely lay again till spring is on the way.
    Contrary to popular belief, layer feed does not have a magic ingredient in it that will make them lay. But it does have a lot of extra calcium added, that can end up causing serious health issues if fed to non-laying birds.
     
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  5. dana0710

    dana0710 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I fed my littles chick starter until they started laying and then I put everyone together and they are all on layer feed. Should I switch them to something higher protein for now? I knew not to feed them layer too soon, but they have all been laying, we just had a sudden halt in production here.
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Layer should only be fed if every single bird in the flock is actively laying.
     
  7. dana0710

    dana0710 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Gotcha! I guess it just never occurred to me to switch during molt? I will grab some grower or all flock or whatever I can find and get them on that until they are laying again. thank you!
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    No need really to ever use 'layer feed'.

    I like to feed a flock raiser/grower/finisher 20% protein crumble full time to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.
     

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